LEFA continues to map NamibiaMost people are familiar with navigating via the map app on their phone. Where should I go? Drop a pin! Where are you? Send me your location! It's very easy to simply grab your phone, add an address and let it guide you to where you need to go.
There are also times you use it without even thinking about it.
The LEFA app, for instance, is integrated with Google mapping technology, and this guides drivers to your location when you request a LEFA ride and on to your destination.
While this location-based technology has made our lives much easier, did you know that the largest search engine in the world also allows you to explore the world at street level?
The company created an application that pairs location technology and imagery taken from a roaming camera vehicle to give you an immersive way of exploring any city, town or roadway around the world.
And Namibia? Until now, you wouldn’t find much if you hit the app for a street view of Gobabis!
But recently, the company partnered with LEFA to cover Namibia’s nearly 8 000 km worth of tarred road network and in doing so, put most of Namibia’s cities and towns on the (digital) map.
A very challenging task, but if you trust LEFA to get you home, Google can trust them to cover Namibia.
For the next 6 to 12 months, the LEFA data collection bakkie is crisscrossing the country with a very special camera system, capturing imagery that will later become a full 360-degree picture of what our beautiful country looks like.
Thereafter you’ll be able to virtually explore Gobabis from wherever you are.
Along with that, tourists planning to visit Namibia can check out points of interest and plan their route according to interesting places along the way. Over the longer period, researchers and environmentalists can easily monitor changes in landscapes, habitats and ecosystems, and from an educational point of view, teachers can show students what other cities and towns around Namibia look like.
And with a street view of buildings and public spaces, people with mobility challenges can plan their journeys, while entrepreneurs and other businesspeople can see potential locations for future business ventures or developments.
As a small Namibian-owned and operated company, the opportunity to work with such a large multinational technology company on this project means that not only can LEFA enhance their technical knowledge around integration of systems, they are making a difference by literally increasing Namibia’s visibility to the world.
So, if you happen to see a double cab bakkie driving around the country with an array of equipment on the back, smile and wave – it’s a LEFA!